March 2017 update

Website

  • Mental Health Law Online CPD scheme: 12 points for £60. Obtain 12 CPD points online by answering monthly questionnaires. The scheme is an ideal way to obtain your necessary hours, or to evidence your continued competence. It also helps to support the continued development of this website, and your subscriptions (and re-subscriptions) are appreciated. For full details and to subscribe, see CPD scheme.

Case law

  • Upper Tribunal case. LB v BMH [2017] MHLO 10 (UT) — "The First-tier Tribunal decided that the patient should not be discharged from liability to be detained and to make no recommendation pursuant to section 72(3) and (3A) of the 1983 Act. Paragraph 19 of its written decision recorded the following: 'The solicitor representing the patient sought an adjournment as she had concerns about the quality of the evidence regarding the patient's clinical treatment in the past. We have some sympathy with the view that the patient's treatment history is incomplete. A summary of the previous treatments should be available to the panel wherever possible. However, the recent treatment history during the in-patient admission at [this hospital] was available to the panel. There was ample evidence before the panel that the patient is floridly psychotic and in our view the evidence satisfied the criteria for detention. We refused the request for an adjournment.' ... The grounds of appeal argue that the reports before the First-tier Tribunal gave very little information about the patient' s previous placement, nor about the reasons for the transfer, nor about any previous trials with clozapine. The application for an adjournment was made with a view to persuading the First-tier Tribunal to recommend a transfer under section 72(3), which was not possible without further information. This was especially important because the First-tier Tribunal proceedings were by way of reference and the patient was unlikely to appeal himself 'and may remain inappropriately placed for a further three years'. I agree with these grounds and also note that the application to adjourn was not made by or on the instructions of the patient but by an experienced specialist solicitor who had herself been appointed by the tribunal and felt that there was inadequate evidence before the tribunal (which, to an extent, the tribunal itself acknowledged). ... [T]he refusal to adjourn amounted to a breach of the rules of natural justice and fair procedure and for these reasons this appeal is allowed."§
  • Testamentary capacity case. White v Philips [2017] EWHC 386 (Ch), [2017] MHLO 9 — "The claimant, Linda Anne White is the testator's widow. They had married in 1988. They had no children together but each had been married before and each had three children from their respective previous marriages. She contends that at the time he gave instructions and when he signed his will Mr White lacked testamentary capacity with the result that the will is invalid and, since there was no prior will, his estate should be distributed in accordance with the rules relating to intestacy. A pleaded claim to the effect that the execution of the will was obtained by undue influence is no longer being pursued. The only matter for determination therefore is whether at the time Mr White had testamentary capacity."§

Law Commission

Other

  • Peter Edwards Law, 'Legal aid agency undermine right of s21A appeal' (1/3/17). This article discusses an email from the LAA (relating to a currently unreported case) which stated: "Unfortunately you will not be covered under the current certificate for the period in which the standard authorisation was not in place as this is a condition of non-means funding. As you confirm the standard authorisation has now been renewed, the certificate would be able to continue but there would be a gap in funding. Apologies that this is not the outcome you were hoping for and I do understand that this was out of your hands, but it will not be possible to claim when the authorisation was not in place." See UF v A Local Authority [2013] EWHC 4289 (COP), [2013] MHLO 105

Events

  • Edge Training: DOLS: a new beginning? - London, 31/3/17 — This half-day course aims to provide a detailed overview and analysis of the Law Commission's recent proposals and draft legislation to replace DOLS with the Liberty Protection Safeguards. It will consider the potential impact of the proposals on individuals, professionals and organisations. There are separate morning (0930-1230) and afternoon (1330-1630) sessions. Speaker: Steven Richards. Cost: £65 + VAT (£78). See flyer for further details and booking information.
  • Edge Training: DOLS MH Assessor Annual Refresher Course - London, 24/4/17 — This refresher course has been designed to meet the needs of DOLS Mental Health Assessors. It will cover key topics that cause uncertainty or dilemmas for MH Assessors and go over the main basic requirements of this challenging role. Common Mental Health Act and DOLS interface issues will also be addressed such as the law around the provision of mental health treatment under DOLS. Speaker: Aasya Mughal. Cost: £180 + VAT (£216). See flyer for further details and booking information.
  • Edge Training: Best Interests Assessors Report Writing Course - Sheffield, 27/3/17 — This course is targeted specifically at qualified Best Interests Assessors (BIAs) and aims to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure robust and legally defensible assessments under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding (DOLS). Speaker: Piers McNeil. Cost: £130 + VAT (£156). See flyer for further details and booking information.

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